A New York outfit has to be able to take you anywhere, whether it's work, drinks with the ladies, a rat-filled subway station, or a historical hot dog stand.
For a little over a year now, I've been working as a legal assistant, a night shift legal assistant.1 One of the biggest challenges I face, of course, is deciding what to wear in an industry so famous for being fashion forward2 at an hour when literally tens of people might see me. I've become rather skilled at it, some even call me a fashionishta,3 and with just a few simple steps, you too can dress like an overnight legal assistant.
A key step to success is making your shabby chic (crappy) non-work items work-appropriate, and no piece accomplishes this better than the blazer. Outfits you thought too bad to run down and get the mail in are suddenly completely appropriate for your performance review. Can a blazer class up a fifteen dollar dress from Forever 21? Yes. A slightly too tight (and definitely too short) club ensemble? You bet. A ratty, dirty gray t-shirt that's permanently wrinkled? Absolutely!4
Next, you'll need to find a hairstyle sexy enough to match your suave overnight legal professional lifestyle. I highly recommend getting a shorter and shorter cut each time you go to the salon until it's essentially as short as a man's, and the only styling you have to do is to comb it through with your hands when you get up at 5 pm.
Another very important step is to wear a ridiculously bold nail color so that, when you forget to do your nails for a good two to three weeks, people will definitely notice as it gradually flakes off to nothing.
The final and most important step, of course, is to wear the same pair of cheap flats every day for eight months until they are so ripped and smelly that you just can't take it anymore, so you passionately and satisfactorily throw them in the garbage and then realize you have no other shoes appropriate for work so you have to run up and down subway stairs in your black, high-heeled boots that you literally can't walk more than a few steps in without the risk of falling flat on your face into garbage.
Coming up on Neon Streets: More footnotes! More swearing!5 More incredible New York fashion tips!
1) At least one of the top ten most glamorous overnight professions.
2) The legal industry is not famous for being fashion forward. Just making sure we're all clear on this point.
3) Fashion-ish-ta, a word I just made up to describe someone who is very plugged in to the fashion world (plugged in referring to my computer as I watched, not only every episode of Project Runway, but almost every episode of What Not to Wear) and who knows practically everything (meaning little to no more than yourself) about style. Enjoy!
4) In fact, a good blazer can solve almost any problem. Armpit stains? Blazer! Nerdy boyfriend? Blazer! Ugly baby? Blazer!
5) Damn straight.